How the Scam Works:
You are surfing the Internet, and a window pops up. It appears to be from the FBI accusing you of violating US law and, as a result, locking your computer. The message says you need to pay a $200 (or more) fine with a prepaid money card. Do so, and you will get the code to unlock your machine.
The warning looks real. It uses legal language, bears the FBI seal and has "fbi.gov" in the URL. When you try to close your web browser, it only causes more windows with warning messages to appear.
Despite its official appearance, the pop up is a scam. Like other malware, it is installed on your computer when you open a malicious attachment, click on a link in an email or visit a scam website. It is later triggered by searching for certain terms. The "ransomware" virus preys on users' anxiety about viewing common, but illegal or unsavory, online content, such as pirated videos or pornography.
How to Deal with the Virus:
As always, make sure your computer's operating system and browser are up to date with the latest security protections. And run a virus scam if you may have downloaded anything suspicious.
Here's how you can unfreeze your computer if you encounter this virus:
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